816 North

NKC police chief retires from 39-year career

Updated: 2013-02-05T16:48:51Z

By GLENN E. RICE

The Kansas City Star

Glenn L. Ladd retired Friday after working in law enforcement for 39 years, the last decade as North Kansas City police chief.

Ladd joked that Monday that for the first work day in nearly four decades, he wouldn’t have to put on his police uniform or have the authority to arrest anyone. Ladd said he is pleased to enter retirement with no regrets.

“It has been the best experience of my occupational life,” he said. “I am proud of the people who have worked for me. I am proud of the way they treat people; how well they treat each other because they really care about their jobs.”

Maj. Steve Beamer will serve as the interim chief until the city names a permanent replacement.

During his tenure as chief, Ladd said the department headquarters was renovated and expanded, community policing efforts were increased to include local businesses and the department embraced new technology and other crime-fighting techniques.

Ladd said because of the nature of police work, it also was most important create a work environment for police officers and civilian employees that was pleasant and enjoyable.

“We have a good time here,” Ladd said. “Our unwritten rule is you have to laugh every day and if you don’t laugh, we have a really big guy right by the door that is going to tickle you before you get home.”

In retirement, Ladd said, he would continue to teach criminal-justice courses at Johnson County Community College and the police command college in Jefferson City. In fact, on Monday, the first weekday of his retirement, he suited up to go teach a session in Jefferson City.

Ladd is past president of the Missouri Police Chiefs Association and he is chairman of the group’s continuing education committee.

During his first year in North Kansas City, Ladd had the department outsource its municipal prisoners to the Clay County jail because it was more cost-effective and enabled the department to free up space and put officers on the streets.

“We were housing prisoners for weeks and that caused us to have a lot of resources tied up in running a jail and I really didn’t want to run a jail; I wanted to do police work,” he said.

Also during his tenure, the department went from 40 sworn officers to 34; the result of the ongoing economic downfall that affected other police departments and law enforcement agencies.

While in North Kansas City, Ladd worked in familiar territory. He is a fourth-generation Northlander who grew up in Gladstone and graduated from Oak Park High School.

His great-grandparents were German immigrants who lived in Riverside. Both sets of grandparents also lived in the Northland.

Ladd earned a fine-arts degree from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo. As a college student, he worked as a part-time officer in Maryville. He also received training as a firefighter and an ambulance attendant.

He later earned a graduate degree in criminal-justice administration from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg.

Before joining the North Kansas City department, Ladd spent 25 years with the Overland Park Police Department and had been commander of the department’s Antioch patrol division. He also served as commander of the department’s administrative services and investigation divisions.

Also during his time there, Ladd was one of two inaugural FBI Leadership fellows at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va. There, he completed extensive training in leadership and management. Ladd later returned to the FBI Academy and taught training sessions on situational leadership.

Ladd, who has taught police administration for 33 years, has given presentations at the FBI Regional Command College on leadership and the role of the executive in ethics.

Ladd said he enjoyed the challenge of applying what he taught in the classroom to his job as police chief.

“It gives me my edge because it is a whole different interaction,” he said. “I have to be prepared. It sharpens my mind and gives me another intellectual outlet.”

To reach Glenn E. Rice, call 816-234-4341 or send email to grice@kcstar.com.

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